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REMINDER: Student-athlete vaccination requirement

City Schools reminds all student-athletes that they must provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to participate in spring sports, which begin March 1, 2022, unless they have an approved religious or medical exemption. This requirement was first announced in November 2021 and will be in place for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year.

Proof of vaccination should be provided to the main office at your child’s school. Acceptable documentation is a vaccination card or a medical form provided by the vaccination clinic. NOTE: If you have lost your documentation, let your school know and we can locate your information through immuNet.

Exemption requests must be submitted by Tuesday, February 15, 2022. Students who are granted religious and medical exemptions will be required to provide COVID weekly test results. In addition, all students are required to participate in regular testing, but without an approved exemption, student-athletics cannot submit to regular COVID testing instead of being vaccinated.

MEDICAL EXEMPTIONS 
A medical exception will be allowed only for situations outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Any student seeking a medical exemption must do the following:

  1. Complete a medical exemption form available on the Baltimore City Public Schools website at  https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/athletics. The form must be signed by the student’s doctor.
  2. Submit the form to the school’s athletic director for review. The athletic director should forward the completed forms via email to Ms. Tiffany Byrd, at TByrd@bcps.k12.md.us.
  3. The Office of Whole Child Services and Support will acknowledge receipt of the request within five (5) business days and provide a final decision as quickly as possible.

RELIGIOUS EXEMPTIONS 
Any students seeking a religious exemption must do the following:

  1. Provide a letter to your school’s athletic director that clearly explains, why your sincerely held religious belief prevents your child from being tested for or vaccinated against COVID-19. The letters must include:
  • Student name
  • Student school
  • Student sport(s)
  • Parent’s name(s)
  • Best email for parent (for determination letter)
  • Parent’s clear and complete explanation for why the student’s sincerely held religious belief prevents them from being vaccinated. This can also be a letter from the family’s faith leader. Examples of statements that are not sufficient by themselves include:
    • “My religion forbids vaccination.”
    • “I have a sincerely held religious belief.”
    • “The [law/Constitution] say that you cannot ask about my religious beliefs/say that I have a right to practice my religion freely.”
    • A form letter/language copied from the internet without a personal explanation of why the individual’s sincerely held belief forbids vaccination.

The athletic director will then email the letter to Ms. Jane Ehrenfeld, Director of Fair Practices & Compliance, at jehrenfeld@bcps.k12.md.us.

  1. The Equal Educational/Employment Opportunity & Title IX Compliance Unit (“EEO Unit”) will acknowledge receipt of your request within five (5) business days, and it may request additional information.
  2. Once the EEO Unit has received the necessary information, we will evaluate your request using the applicable legal standards, including determining whether granting the exemption would pose an undue hardship for City Schools.
  3. The EEO Unit will issue a determination. The letter you receive will contain your appeal rights under Board Policy BLA, should you wish to appeal the determination.